Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR)

Healthy kidneys filter waste from the blood, producing urine which normally flows only one direction: down the ureters and into the bladder. When something is wrong with the connection between the ureter and the bladder, the urine may flow back up (reflux) from the bladder to the ureters and at times to the kidneys.

If you have had VUR as a child, there is a chance that your children will have the condition. In addition, if one of your children has it, his or her brothers and sisters may also have the condition, too.

Infrequent or incomplete urination, as well as constipation, are also associated with VUR. Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) may indicate the presence of VUR.

 
How is VUR diagnosed and treated?

Your Nemours pediatric urologist may order a test called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) that uses X-rays and a special dye to show how your child’s bladder is working. This test can help determine if your child has VUR.

VUR is graded on a scale from I (mild) to V (severe). Many times, milder grades of VUR will go away on their own as your child grows and develops. However, UTIs in the presence of VUR can cause kidney infections, which can lead to scarring and sometimes result in kidney damage.

Depending on the severity of the VUR, your Nemours urologist may discuss several treatment options for your child, including antibiotics to prevent infections, surgery to repair the ureters, or endoscopic treatment in which a small telescope is inserted through the bladder and a gel is placed at the point where the ureter meets the bladder.